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Sony teases next God of War for PlayStation 5

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Sony teases next God of War for PlayStation 5

Sony closed its virtual PlayStation 5 event today with a teaser for the next God of War.

The short trailer with no video game play starts with the voice of Kratos, with a God of War logo that shows a number of runes on it. Kratos says, “The time grows near…. You must prepare yourself.”

Then a sign appears saying “Ragnarök is coming” with a logo from Sony Santa Monica. And that’s all we get for now.

God of War was one of the top-selling games on the PlayStation 4 when it debuted in April 2018. Made by a team of 300 over five years at Sony Santa Monica, the title beat out other titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 (made with a team of as many as 2,000 people over seven years) at The Game Awards and many others awards contests for Game of the Year.

As of May 2019, the God of War franchise has sold more than 32 million copies. Sony closed its PlayStation 5 virtual event with the trailer. We couldn’t hear anything, but we know that fans all over the world were howling.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Powerful Vatican Cardinal Becciu resigns amid scandal

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Vatican Scandal

ROME (AP) — The powerful head of the Vatican’s saint-making office, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, resigned suddenly Thursday from the post and renounced his rights as a cardinal amid a financial scandal that has reportedly implicated him indirectly.

The Vatican provided no details on why Pope Francis accepted Becciu’s resignation in a statement late Thursday. In the one-sentence announcement, the Holy See said only that Francis had accepted Becciu’s resignation as prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints “and his rights connected to the cardinalate.”

Becciu, the former No. 2 in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, has been reportedly implicated in a financial scandal involving the Vatican’s investment in a London real estate deal that has lost the Holy See millions of euros in fees paid to middlemen.

The Vatican prosecutor has placed several Vatican officials under investigation, as well as the middlemen, but not Becciu. Becciu has defended the soundness of the original investment and denied any wrongdoing, and it’s not clear whether the scandal itself was behind his resignation or possibly sparked a separate line of inquiry.

But the late-breaking news of his resignation, the severity of his apparent sanction, the Vatican’s tight-lipped release and the unexpected downfall of one of the most powerful Vatican officials all suggested a shocking new chapter in the scandal, which has convulsed the Vatican for the past year.

The last time a cardinal’s rights were removed was when American Theodore McCarrick renounced his rights and privileges as a cardinal in July 2018 amid a sexual abuse investigation. He was subsequently defrocked altogether by Francis last year for sexually abusing adults as well as minors.

Before him, the late Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien in 2015 relinquished the rights and privileges of being a cardinal after unidentified priests alleged sexual misconduct. O’Brien was, however, allowed to retain the cardinal’s title and he died a member of the College of Cardinals, the elite group of churchmen whose main job is to elect a pope.

In the Vatican statement, the Holy See identified Becciu as “His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Becciu,” making clear he remained a cardinal but without any rights.

At 72, Becciu would have been able to participate in a possible future conclave to elect Francis’ successor. Cardinals over age 80 can’t vote. But by renouncing his rights as a cardinal, Becciu has relinquished his rights to take part.

Becciu was the “substitute,” or top deputy in the secretariat of state from 2011-2018, when Francis made him a cardinal and moved him into the Vatican’s saint-making office. He straddled two pontificates, having been named by Pope Benedict XVI and entrusted with essentially running the Curia, or Vatican bureaucracy, a position that gave him enormous influence and power.

The financial problems date from 2014, when the Vatican entered into a real estate venture by investing over $200 million in a fund run by an Italian businessman. The deal gave the Holy See 45% of the luxury building at 60 Sloane Ave. in London’s Chelsea neighborhood.

The money came from the secretariat of state’s asset portfolio, which is funded in large part by the Peter’s Pence donations of Catholics around the world for the pope to use for charity and Vatican expenses.

The Holy See decided in November 2018, after Becciu had left the secretariat of state, to exit the fund, end its relationship with the businessman and buy out the remainder of the building. It did so after Becciu’s successor determined that the mortgage was too onerous and that the businessman was losing money for the Vatican in some of the fund’s other investments.

The buyout deal, however, cost the Holy See tens of millions of euros more and sparked the Vatican investigation that has so far implicated a half-dozen Vatican employees.

Becciu has insisted he wasn’t in power during the 2018 buyout deal and always acted in the sole interests of the Holy See. In the Vatican prosecutor’s initial warrant, Becciu is not named, and it remains unclear if his role in managing the secretariat of state’s vast asset portfolio was connected with the resignation.

His former boss, Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, has said the whole matter was “opaque” and needed to be clarified. Francis, for his part, has vowed to get to the bottom of what he has said was evidence of corruption in the Holy See.

Francis would meet regularly with Becciu in the Italian’s role as prefect of the saint-making office, since every month or two he would present lists of candidates for possible beatification or canonization for Francis to approve.

In addition, since the beginning of his pontificate, Francis had an annual luncheon date at Becciu’s apartment along with 10 priests on the Thursday of Holy Week leading up to Easter. The Vatican always reported the get-togethers were a chance for the pope to chat informally with Becciu and priests of his diocese on the day the church celebrates the institution of the priesthood.

The luncheon didn’t happen this year amid the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Novavax Kicks Off 10,000 Patient Covid Vaccine Study in U.K.

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Novavax Kicks Off 10,000 Patient Covid Vaccine Study in U.K.

(Bloomberg) — Novavax Inc. climbed as much as 6.7% in extended trading on plans to start enrolling participants for a late-stage study of its experimental shot for the novel coronavirus in 10,000 patients in the U.K.The company joins the ranks of AstraZeneca Plc, Pfizer Inc. with German partner BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. as its vaccine enters the final stretch on the path toward regulatory approval. There are roughly 38 shots being tested in humans around the world and more than 140 others in earlier stages of study, according to the World Health Organization’s estimates.Half of the people enrolled in Novavax’s placebo-controlled trial will get two shots of NVX-CoV2373 with Matrix-M, the biotech company’s adjuvant meant to make the immunizing shot more powerful. At least a quarter of study participants will be seniors, and priority will be given to enrolling racial and ethnic minorities hardest hit by the virus.The study has a two-pronged target to show effectiveness in those with symptoms of the disease or in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients, and achieving either goal may be enough to get a regulatory nod. Up to 400 people in the study will also get a seasonal flu vaccine to gauge the potential of administering a Covid shot alongside a flu shot.Novavax shares rose as much as 6.7% to $109.31 in postmarket trading in New York. The Gaithersburg, Maryland-based company secured a $1.6 billion U.S. contract in July on top of $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in May.“We have three shots on goal,” Gregory Glenn, the company’s president of research and development, said in a phone call, referring to other Covid-19 trials. Planning is also underway for a larger, 30,000 person study in the U.S. that will start enrolling in mid-October, while a smaller Phase 2b study in South Africa is ongoing.As drug developers large and small race to come up with an effective inoculation, Novavax has seen its stock price climb nearly 2,500% this year on its rapid progress against the disease. Since revealing a first look at Novavax’s shot in people in August, the stock has given back roughly 40% of that surge in shares. Day trader interest in vaccine and Covid-19 medicines faded from frenzied levels earlier this year as virus rates in the U.S. eased over the summer. So-called biotech tourists may also lose interest as a company gets closer to commercialization.(Updates to add shares)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Kenya anti-graft agency slams procurement of COVID-19 equipment

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Kenya anti-graft agency slams procurement of COVID-19 equipment

By Humphrey Malalo

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s anti-corruption agency has documented evidence of “criminal” behaviour by officials over the procurement of COVID-19 emergency equipment, said a report presented to the Senate.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission began investigating allegations of graft in June over the procurement and supply of COVID-19 equipment by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority. The commission said there was “irregular expenditure” of 7.8 billion Kenyan shillings ($71.96 million).

The revelations come at a time when medical staff in the East African nation have gone on a series of strikes over low pay and poor-quality protective equipment to treat COVID-19 patients. [nL4N2FN1WR]

“The investigation established criminal culpability on the part of public officials in the purchase and supply of COVID-19 emergency commodities at Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) that led to irregular expenditure of public funds,” the commission said in a report it sent to lawmakers on Wednesday.

The watchdog shared its preliminary findings with the Director of Public Prosecutions and has recommended charges against some officials and a system-wide review at the procurement authority to “seal corruption loopholes in future.”

A spokeswoman from the Health Ministry was unavailable for comment. KEMSA is a state-run agency which comes under the ministry.

The head of KEMSA was suspended last month over allegations that it had procured low quality items and inflated prices of others.

In a separate report seen by Reuters on Thursday, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority catalogued instances of alleged inflation of prices for products procured by KEMSA.

Paracetamol tablets sold at 40 shillings per pack were bought for 66.50 shillings during the pandemic, while alcohol-based sanitizers priced at 313 shillings were purchased at 495 shillings, the report said.

“There was no evidence of indicative price indices obtained through market survey,” the report said.

It also alleged that most “tenders were retrospectively negotiated and evaluated after the deliveries” and “some of the negotiated prices were not as per the prices as proposed.”

Last month, police teargassed protesters in Nairobi during a demonstration against alleged corruption in the procurement of protective gear meant for defence against COVID-19.

Health workers in Kenya have posted images on social media showing what they claim is inadequate protective equipment provided to them, such as porous dust overalls that would not prevent the spread of the virus.

($1 = 108.4000 Kenyan shillings)

(writing by Omar Mohammed; editing by Katharine Houreld and Alexandra Hudson)

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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